Antarctic ice sheet mass loss has increased

800px-Glacier_on_Antarctic_coast

The Guardian - Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies.

A new study from the University of Waterloo discovered that rising sea levels could be accelerated by vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic.

The Pine Island Glacier's 400-metre thick ice shelf must have therefore been grounded on the ridge for several decades as the satellite images of the glacier gathered by the researchers confirm.

The Atlantic noted this week that millions of people on the U.S. East Coast could be displaced from their homes by the end of the century because of melting in parts of western Antarctica ― which scientists have identified as being the source of most of the recent melting.

Strong compliance with the Paris Agreement is one way of helping control the speed of the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Looking closer, the rapid, recent changes are nearly entirely driven by the West Antarctic ice sheet, which scientists have long viewed as an Achilles' heel.

Writing in Nature, the authors are all winners of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica and experts in such disciplines as biology, oceanography, glaciology, geophysics, climate science and policy.

We have found that since 1992 Antarctica has lost 2,720 billion tonnes of ice, raising global sea levels by 7.6mm. Forty percent of that loss has occurred in just the last 5 years, again underscoring the increase in losses recently.

Shepherd said Antarctica alone is now on track to raise world sea levels by about 15 cm by 2100, above most past estimates.

Most of this ice loss has come from West Antarctica.

"We view these results as another alarm to slow the warming of our planet", said Eric Ringo, employee of the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA, who for two decades had been watching the ice cover the Ground. Sea level rise is a threat to cities from NY to Shanghai as well as low-lying nations from the Pacific Ocean to the Netherlands.

At the northern tip of the continent, ice-shelf collapse at the Antarctic Peninsula has driven an increase of 27.6 billion tons (25 billion metric tons) in ice loss per year since the early 2000s. Seas also rise from melting land glaciers elsewhere, Greenland's dwindling ice sheet and the fact that warmer water expands. Before 2012, the area was actually gaining ice. However, in the last five years, it too has begun to lose ice, perhaps as much as 28 billion tons per year, although the uncertainty surrounding this number remains high.

"Considering sea level rise, for example, the future rise could be a little smaller or a little larger, or a lot larger - there is a "long tail" on the "bad" side".

Scientists have previously raised fears about a scenario in which ice loss from Antarctica takes on a rate of explosive growth. "There are no other plausible signals to be driving this other than climate change".

"The kinds of changes that we see today, if they were not to increase much more. then maybe we're talking about something that is manageable for coastal stakeholders", Rob DeConto, a researcher not involved in the study, told The Washington Post.

"What happened roughly 10,000 years ago might not dictate where we're going in our carbon dioxide-enhanced world, where the oceans are rapidly warming in the Polar Regions", said Scherer.

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